A critical component in controlling the production of biological products derived from human and animal cell lines is the characterization and testing of banked cell substrates. The objective is to confirm the identity, purity, and suitability of these cells for manufacturing use. Quality concerns for biological products derived from cell lines originate from the presence of cellular and adventitious contaminants. Well-characterized cell banks not only permit a consistent source of production cells throughout the life of a product but also decrease the likelihood of contamination by other cell lines and adventitious agents. An important part of qualifying a cell line is choosing the appropriate testing for the presence of adventitious contaminants. The qualification of cell banks includes tests for cell identity and endogenous and adventitious microbial contaminants (bacteria, fungi, mycoplasmas, and viruses). For cells producing recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid–derived products, analysis of the expression construct at the nucleic acid level (genetic stability) is also a primary concern. The strategy for designing a safety-testing program for banked cells should be based on sound scientific principles and current regulatory guidance.
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Vol. 41 • No. 3